Thank you all for waiting patiently for Part 2 of this article to be written. If you haven’t read Part 1, please do. So, let’s continue the love post-Valentine’s Day and explore more important sustainable candle choices:
Choose Rainforest Alliance Certified Palm Wax candles. Palm oil and palm wax have gotten a very bad environmental rap due to the deforestation and the destruction of orangutan habitats that most palm tree farming cause. Fortunately, more sustainable ways of cultivating palm oil exist. Aloha Bay candles are made with Rainforest Alliance Certified Palm Wax.
Choose candles made from beeswax. Beeswax candles are another excellent Earth-friendly choice, especially from a local source and/or sustainable beekeepers.
Stop purchasing candles made from paraffin. The majority of candles sold in the United States, unless purchased from a holistic market place and specifically labeled as made from beeswax, soy and/or palm wax, are made from paraffin. What is paraffin? It’s a petroleum byproduct. Burning it releases neurotoxins and carcinogens into the air such as toluene, benzene and hydrocarbons. Yikes! Burning paraffin candles also releases a superfine soot into the air which can cause irritation and damage in the lungs. Beeswax, soy wax and palm wax candles, on the other hand, burn much more cleanly. Another downside to paraffin candles is that they are a byproduct of the very polluting industry of fossil fuels. Not only is serious damage done to air and waterways by oil refineries, but they also pose health risks, such as respiratory issues and cancer, to the people who live near them.
Choose eco-friendly packaging and other candle materials. Is the wick lead-free (it should be since lead wicks were outlawed in the U.S. in 2003) and made of cotton or hemp? Is the candle naturally dyed or dye-free (you may have to contact the candle company to find out)? How is the candle packaged? Does it come in a box made of post-consumer recycled content? Does the candle sit in glass or is it a pillar candle? I like the idea of candles that come in jars (where the neck is narrower than the base) so they can be recycled or reused like you would a mason jar. NYC Sanitation does not accept non-jar shaped glass for recycling. I also love pillar candles and minimally packaged candles that use less resources. I like to put my pillar candles in old candle votive containers. I’ve also seen candles nestled sweetly in glass that used to be a wine bottle. I love creative repurposing! There are so many fun, creative green options out there to play with. Enjoy the exploration!
Some eco-friendly, clean burning candles:
- These candles are made with non-GMO soy and organic essentials oils while sitting pretty in recycled amber glass: http://www.rodales.com/scented-soy-candle/E000665002.html?cid=ppc_Google_Rodales_PLA_Inhabit_ScentedSoyCandle_Phrase
- Check out LaFountainHerbal’s shop on Etsy.com. Their candles are made with pure essential oils and non-GMO soy wax. They use recycled paper on all labeling and shipping packaging is reused. Plus, they don’t use any artificial dyes.
- A friend of mine creates sumptuous, sophisticated candles that go the extra green mile using non-GMO wax, pesticide-free essential oils, 90 % domestically sourced materials and sustainable packaging: http://www.liteandcycle.com/
There are so many other sustainable candle makers. I trust you will poke around on the following websites and do you own fun research:
Also, if you want to know more info about the risks of using fragrance in candles and cosmetics, read these articles: